Kansas Representative Barbara W. Ballard was elected President of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL) at the Annual Legislative Conference in Atlanta, Georgia on December 3, 2010. In 2007, Representative Ballard was recognized by her peers with NBCSL’s Outstanding Legislator of the Year Award.
Representative Ballard is a Democratic member of the Kansas legislature, representing the 44th District. She was elected to the Kansas House of Representatives on November 3, 1992. She currently serves on the Kansas House Appropriation Committee, Social Services Budget Committee, Transportation Committee, Legislative Educational Planning Committee, and serves on the House Leadership Team. Representative Ballard was the first black member elected to the House Leadership team and has served as Democratic Caucus Chair for over 10 years.
Throughout her political career, President Ballard has helped Kansas pass several important pieces of legislation to protect and improve Kansas communities, and the lives of working families, children, and elderly. Examples include funding for K-12 and higher education, as well as a comprehensive transportation plan and the provision of aging and mental health services.
President Ballard has been with the University of Kansas since August 1980. She is the Associate Director for Civic Programming and Public Outreach at the Dole Institute of Politics, and has served as an Associate Vice Provost for Student Success, Associate Dean, and the Director of the Emily Taylor Women’s Resource Center.
President Ballard and her husband, Albert, have one adult son and two grandchildren. Within the Lawrence, Kansas community, Representative Ballard serves on the Board of Directors at the Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center and Cottonwood, Inc. She and her husband attend Plymouth Congressional Church, where she participates in the Chancel Choir. President Ballard formerly served on the Board of Directors of the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce and was a member of Rotary International. She was the first African American woman elected to the Lawrence Public School Board and was elected Board President twice.